China and the US should deal with their differences candidly, US National Security Adviser Susan Rice told Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) on Monday, as ties were set to be tested after an international tribunal invalidated Beijing’s vast claims in the South China Sea.
Rice is the highest-level White House official to visit China since the July 12 ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration delivered a victory to the Philippines, a US ally, in its dispute with China.
Meeting Xi, Rice said the US and China’s interdependence meant that China’s success was also in the US’ interest, and said the two nations have demonstrated that they can work together on major global issues such as climate change.
“At the same time, we are confronting our differences with candor and clarity and we believe that clarity produces predictability, and predictability produces stability,” Rice said.
Xi told Rice that he was committed to building a good bilateral relationship on “the basis of no conflict, no confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation.”
The South China Sea received no mention in any of the opening remarks Rice and Chinese leaders made in front of reporters on Monday. Officials repeatedly acknowledged the importance of managing their disagreements.
Beijing has reacted angrily to the ruling by The Hague-based tribunal, decrying the panel as unfair and accusing Washington of interfering in the region. The US, whose navy patrols the waters, has called on China to abide by the ruling while also urging calm.
A statement issued later by the White House said that Rice discussed with China’s top diplomat, State Councilor Yang Jiechi (楊潔篪), US views on human rights, maritime issues and the treatment of US businesses and non-governmental organizations operating in China.
It also said Rice met with Central Politics and Law Commission Secretary Meng Jianzhu (孟建柱) and underscored the importance of abiding by cybercommitments reached by US President Barack Obama and Xi when they met in Washington last September — when the two leaders agreed that neither government would support commercial cybertheft.
Rice also met with Chinese Central Military Commission Vice Chairman General Fan Changlong (范長龍), who told her the sides still faced “obstacles and challenges.”
“If we don’t properly handle these factors, it will very likely disturb and undermine this steady momentum of our military-to-military relationship,” Fan said.
Rice pointed to the increased communication between the sides that she said has reduced the possibility of conflict, even while their militaries operate in closer proximity than ever before.
Despite such progress, “we have challenges and differences to discuss and to manage,” Rice said.
Rice conveyed a similar message when she and Yang met. Yang said that the sides had stable relations, but that there were still differences that had to be carefully managed.
China’s island development in the South China Sea has inflamed regional tensions, including with nations that have competing claims to the land formations.
Beijing’s officials see a US plot behind the arbitration case, considering that as just another sign of what China perceives as a relentless US campaign to contain its rise to prominence.
The US says it takes no position on South China Sea sovereignty claims, but insists that freedom of navigation and overflight in the region be maintained.
Rice’s visit is primarily aimed at preparing for US President Barack Obama’s trip to China in September to attend the leaders’ summit of the G20 major economies.
Rice is also visit to Shanghai and meet with business executives to discuss challenges that US businesses face while operating in China, a statement from the US National Security Council said.
TARNISHED LEGACY: Woodrow Wilson served as the university’s president before becoming the US’ 28th leader, but his racism was ‘significant and consequential’ Princeton University is removing former US president Woodrow Wilson’s name from its public policy school and one of its residential colleges after trustees concluded that the 28th president’s “racist thinking and policies” made him “an inappropriate namesake.” The Ivy League school’s trustees made the decision on Friday, according to a statement on Saturday. It comes at a time of widespread rethinking of the US’ racial legacy. The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, energized by a series of high-profile deaths of black Americans, has resulted in the removal of Confederate monuments, flags and symbols of racism across the US. Deleting Wilson’s name at Princeton
‘FULLY ENCLOSED’: Residents of Anxin County would be confined to their homes and would only be allowed out once a day to buy necessities such as food and medicine China yesterday imposed a strict lockdown on nearly half a million people near the capital to contain a fresh COVID-19 cluster as authorities warned the outbreak was still “severe and complicated.” After China largely brought the virus under control, hundreds have been infected in Beijing and cases have emerged in Hebei Province. Health officials said that Anxin County — about 150km from Beijing — would be “fully enclosed and controlled,” the same strict measures imposed at the height of the pandemic in the city of Wuhan earlier this year. Only one person from each family would be allowed to go out once a
Japan said it opposed changes to the G7 nations as it pushed back against a reform plan by US President Donald Trump that would have rival South Korea this year join in an expanded meeting. Tokyo has told the US it stands against South Korea’s participation on the grounds of differences in policy on China and North Korea, Kyodo News reported this weekend, citing more than one source related to Japanese and US diplomacy. Japan also wants to maintain its status as the only Asian country in the group, the news agency added. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga yesterday told reporters that
The onset of summer has sparked a rise in incidents of “mask rage” in South Korea as more hot and bothered commuters either refuse to wear face coverings or leave parts of their faces exposed. In South Korea, Japan and other countries in East Asia, widespread mask wearing has been cited as one possible explanation for the region’s relative success in bringing the COVID-19 pandemic under control. South Korea, one of the first countries outside China to be affected by the virus, flattened the coronavirus curve in April, although it is now struggling with dozens of daily cases, mainly in and around